Moroccan Government to Help Strengthen Jewish Life, Minister Says

Dr. Leon Benzaquen, Morocco’s Minister of Posts and Telegraph and the only Jew in the Cabinet, said today that the Moroccan Government would not interfere in Jewish communal affairs but would, on the contrary, encourage all evidences that it was attempting to strengthen Jewish life in this Moslem country

In an interview with the Jewish newspaper “Information,” Dr. Benzaquen said the government would not disapprove of attempts to bring Jewish youth back into the Jewish spiritual fold. “On the contrary,” he continued, “the government would encourage such initiative which can but honor the Moroccan nation. I am convinced that being good Jew’s is the best means for us to efficiently contribute to the best development of our country

The future of the Moroccan Jewish community, Dr. Benzaquen said, will be as the Moroccan Jews want it to be. They must set to work without delay, they must presser and maintain their faith, their culture and their ethics. There is no incompatibility between this (and Moroccan citizenship)–on the contrary, they unite harmoniously

Commenting on the government’s attitude toward Jewish relief organizations operating in Morocco, the Minister said that the “government knows these organizations are doing useful work and that work will benefit the Moroccan nation. The Moroccan Government is grateful to them for it.” He noted that Princess Lalla Aicha, daughter of King Mohammed V, was honorary president of the Moroccan ORT.

Meanwhile, Premier Embarek Si Bekkai released to the press statements he had made at a recent Istiqlal (government) Party conference in Northern Morocco which confirmed Morocco’s adherence in principle to the Arab League. Morocco, Si Bekkai said, “is on the side of Egypt and the whole Middle East in its struggle for the achievement of their people’s aspirations. We will never get along with countries which are enemies of Arab and Moslem nations,” he stressed.

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